You all remember what happened. A few years ago, Kanye West went on TV in the middle of a disaster, veered off teleprompter and barked “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” At the time, I thought it was either a passionate, gut reaction (albeit, an ill-advised one) or just a calculated rant under the guise of outrage, designed to make controversy and headlines. If that’s the case, to his credit (or colossal shame, depending on whether or not you think seeking headlines in the middle of a disaster can be considered admirable) it worked. In either scenario, we have an artist who isn’t afraid to get political and challenge the highest American authority, which is a sure-fire way to earn your spot in the Insane Musician Hall of Fame.
But What if Kanye West is Retarded?
If Kanye is retarded, it obfuscates things a little bit. To get a better grasp on the situation, I did the follow-up research that I never did at the time of the incident. Apparently, Kanye did an interview regarding his comments shortly after his words, and he explained that he honestly believed that people might understand him better based on his comments. He didn’t make any motions towards either apologizing or expanding on his sound bite, he just thought, “Hey, that comment gives people a good introduction into who I am as a person. Me.”
Hurricane Katrina was wonderful for Kanye’s public perception.
And what exactly did he think people understood? Not that he was a goon, or a shameless opportunist, no. He felt that the words showed the world that he had, in his words, “little baby Tourette’s, maybe not quite diagnosed” as evidenced by how “the truth just comes out accidentally like what’s off the top of [my] mind.”
So, here is the list of things we need to understand based on Kanye’s statements…
A) Kanye West genuinely thinks he suffers from an undiagnosed form of Tourette’s;
B) Kanye West thinks Tourette’s syndrome is when you accidentally speak the truth in the heat of the moment;
C) Kanye West believes that people will understand him better now that they’re aware of his undiagnosed, nonexistent condition.
…and our conclusions are, respectively, “No you don’t,” “No it isn’t” and “You’re an idiot.”
The final and strangest point we can take away from his interview is that Kanye West seems to think that the degree of severity of Tourette’s is measured on some kind of Baby Scale, where mild, sporadic adult onset Tourette’s is classified as “little baby Tourette’s” and, we can presume, more persistent and traumatic cases can be classified as “enormous super baby Tourettes.”
As a sidebar, while it may not be Science’s preferred method for measuring the severity of a disease, “little baby Tourette’s,” is a truly hilarious phrase. One of these days I’m going to invent a face-shitting cocktail that renders the drinker immediately incapable of controlling their speech and I am hereby officially calling shotgun on the rights to “Little Baby Tourette’s” as the name of said drink.